Windlesham House School

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Windlesham House School
View of the main school building.jpg
London Road

, ,
RH20 4AY

Coordinates50°53′24″N 0°25′07″W / 50.88994°N 0.41848°W / 50.88994; -0.41848Coordinates: 50°53′24″N 0°25′07″W / 50.88994°N 0.41848°W / 50.88994; -0.41848
TypePreparatory school
MottoIn Deo Fidemus
Established1837; 185 years ago (1837)
FounderCharles Robert Malden
Department for Education URN126113 Tables
Head teacherBen Evans
Age4 to 13
HousesDrake, Grenfell, Hunt, Raleigh, Scott, Bader
Colour(s)Black and White

Windlesham House School is an independent boarding and day school for boys and girls aged 4 to 13 on the South Downs, in Pulborough, West Sussex, England.[1] It was founded in 1837 by Charles Robert Malden and was the first boys' preparatory school in the United Kingdom.[2] In 1967 it became the first IAPS co-educational school.[3] The school moved to its current location in 1934. It caters for over 300 pupils. Children aged 4 to 7 are taught in the pre-prep.

From 2011 onward, the school has been inspected by the Independent Schools Inspectorate, who awarded it 'excellent' in its 2017 report.[4][5] The school received an 'outstanding' award in its Ofsted inspection in 2010.[4]

Boarding and Pastoral Care[edit]

Male and female students are accommodated in dormitories based in separate areas of the school. Each wing is run by the Heads of Boarding, who are supported by matrons.[6] The dorms vary in size and children sleep in bunk beds or single beds. Each wing of the boarding house has a 'comfy' room, much like a common room, for recreational use outside of lesson times.

There are six houses, each of which are led by 'houseparents', one male and one female, that provide limited pastoral care for the children. These houseparents are key contacts between the headmaster, the head of pastoral care and the parents.[4] In addition, each student has a personal tutor and subject teachers.

The school has an international presence, with over 15 nationalities represented by its students.[7] Mobile phones are not allowed, but the boarding houses have phones for calling home and access to Skype for students with parents based overseas.[8]

In the 2017 ISI inspection, the boarding facilities were judged to be of an excellent quality.[9]

Charles and Elizabeth Ann Malden were the last of five generations of Malden heads from 1837. Their joint headship lasted nearly 40 years (1957 to 1994). They were leaders of their time, insisting on being known not by their surname, Malden, but by the more informal Mr and Mrs Charles. In 1963 the School was among the first to become a trust and in 1967 Windlesham was the first traditional boys' boarding prep school to become co-educational.[10][11]

The Headmaster, Ben Evans took over from Richard Foster in September 2020. The Chair of the Board of Governors is Douglas Moody-Stuart and the Deputy Head is Andy Nuttall.[12]

School Facilities[edit]

Windlesham from the South Downs

The school has been recognised for its school grounds and facilities available to the students.[13] The school has a 9-hole golf course, playing fields and woodland that the children are allowed to play in.[13] Bush craft and survival lessons are often taken in the woodland. The sports facilities are extensive, with an astro pitch, tennis courts, netball courts, athletics track and sports fields that cater for cricket, football, rugby and hockey.[13]

In 2014 a new playground was opened by Lord Denman after the Parents Association raised money for its construction.[14] Additionally, their work enabled them to donate £3,000 to Cystic Fibrosis, Cardiac Support, Sanchat Charitable Trust, Worthing Food Bank, Sussex Autistic Society and Canine Partners.[14]

In 2015 the school applied for permission to begin the phase of the expansion of its sports facilities.[15][16] This was completed in February 2018. The new sports and swimming building incorporates a 25-metre six-lane swimming pool and four indoor playing courts with supporting rooms.[16] It also has areas for spectators watching basketball, hockey, tennis and badminton. There will also be male and female changing rooms, boot rooms and storage areas for the project. The project was undertaken by Kier construction.[17] In July 2018 the complex was awarded 'Highly Commended' at the Sussex Heritage Trust Awards.


The school does not follow standardised tests.[18] However, in the 2017 Independent Schools Inspectorate data from the school were seen to indicate that the majority of the students were working above the national average.[18]


The School does not have a uniform, but rather a dress code in place.[19]


The headship of Windlesham remained within the Malden family for 157 years spanning five generations. From its founding in 1837 until 1994 each headmaster had been the son of his predecessor, with the exception of Grace Scott Malden, who succeeded her husband, and Charles Christopher Malden, whose elder brother, Roger, led the school while he completed his national service and degree.[20]

  • 1837–1855 Lieutenant Charles Robert Malden, RN
  • 1855–1888 Major Henry Charles Malden
  • 1888–1896 Charles Scott Malden
  • 1896–1927 Grace Gilbert Scott Malden
  • 1927–1953 Christopher Scott-Malden, as principal, with a subordinate headmaster[21]
  • 1953–1957 Lieutenant-Colonel Roger William Malden
  • 1957–1994 Charles Christopher and Elizabeth Ann Malden, jointly[20]
  • 1994–1995 Ian and Margaret Angus, jointly
  • 1995–1996 Stephen and Julie Goodhart, as acting heads, jointly
  • 1996–2006 Philip Lough
  • 2006–2007 Paul Forte, as acting headmaster
  • 2007–2020 Richard Foster
  • 2020– Ben Evans, formerly headmaster of Edge Grove School[22]

Christopher Scott-Malden, who had expected to run the school in partnership with his more scholarly elder brother, Gilbert, structured his role as principal, appointing subordinate headmasters.[23] Gilbert held the title of Head Master between 1914 and 1921, but in a subordinate role to his mother, Grace.[24]

Both Grace Scott Malden and Elizabeth Ann Malden were known to the pupils as 'Mrs Charles', a tradition that stretches back to 1880 when Charles Scott Malden was styled as 'Mr. Charles' to distinguish him from his father, 'Mr. (Henry) Malden'.[21]

Notable former pupils (ordered by date of birth)[edit]

Former pupils are traditionally known as Old Windleshamites, though the term 'OWLs' (Old Windlesham Leavers) has been used by the school in recent years.[24][25]


  1. ^ "The Good Schools Guide: Windlesham House School". The Good Schools Guide. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  2. ^ "Windlesham ages 10 to 15 - Summer School - St Bede's Day and Boarding School". St Bede's School. Retrieved 29 April 2012. Windlesham House School, which was the first school in the country to be established as a preparatory school, was founded in 1837 and has occupied its current location since 1934.
  3. ^ "Windlesham House School". Boarding Schools' Association. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  4. ^ a b c "Windlesham House School". Ofsted. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  5. ^ "Windlesham House School". ISI: Independent Schools Inspectorate. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  6. ^ "The Good Schools Guide: Windlesham House School". The Good Schools Guide. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  7. ^ "British Boarding School Workshop- Windlesham House School". British Boarding Schools Workshop. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  8. ^ "British Boarding School Workshop- Windlesham House School". British Boarding Schools Workshop. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  9. ^ "Windlesham House School". Independent Schools Inspectorate. Retrieved 26 September 2017.
  10. ^ "THE MALDEN TRUST LIMITED". Open Charities. Retrieved 26 September 2017.
  11. ^ "MALDEN FAMILY TRUST (THE)". Open Corporates. Retrieved 26 September 2017.
  12. ^ "Windlesham House School celebrates "excellent" inspection report". Education Sussex. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
  13. ^ a b c "Windlesham House School". British Boarding Schools Workshop. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
  14. ^ a b "Thanks to parent fundraisers as new playground opens". County Times. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
  15. ^ "Planning- Application Summary". South Downs National Park. Retrieved 9 October 2017.
  16. ^ a b "Planning- Application Summary". South Downs National Park. Retrieved 9 October 2017.
  17. ^ "New Pool & Sports Hall". Windlesham House school. Retrieved 9 October 2017.
  18. ^ a b "Windlesham House School". Independent Schools Inspectorate. Retrieved 19 October 2017.
  19. ^ The Independent Schools Guide. Kogan Page Publishers. March 2006. p. 395. ISBN 9780749445676.
  20. ^ a b Scott-Malden, C. Peter (1998). A Record of the Descendants of Charles Robert Malden in the Twentieth Century (3rd ed.). Tadworth.
  21. ^ a b Wilson, G. Herbert (1937). History of Windlesham House School 1837-1937. London: McCorquodale & Co. Ltd.
  22. ^ "Announcement of new Headmaster". OWLS. 22 July 2019. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  23. ^ Correspondence with Dr Tom Houston, economist, historian and former governor of Windlesham House School
  24. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa Wilson, G. Herbert (1937). Windlesham House School: History and Muster Roll 1837–1937. London: McCorquodale & Co. Ltd.
  25. ^ "Homepage". Windlesham Alumni. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  26. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai Malden, Henry C. (1902). Muster Roll. Windlesham House, Brighton. A.D. 1837 to 1902 (2nd ed.). Brighton: H. & C. Treacher.
  27. ^ "Henry Charles MALDEN — Godalming Museum". Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  28. ^ Dove, Ed. "6 Men Who Changed the Course of Football History". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  29. ^ "Griffin, Sir Lepel Henry (1838–1908), administrator in India | Oxford Dictionary of National Biography". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. 2004. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/33576. Retrieved 18 December 2018. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  30. ^ Reginald Courtenay Welch, The Harrow School Register, 1800-1911 (1894), p. 393
  31. ^ Percival Serle, "Head, Frederick Waldegrave" in Dictionary of Australian Biography (Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1949)
  32. ^ "Clifton RFC History Club Members 1872-1922 (B)". Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  33. ^ 'Mr. D. H. Beves' (obituary) in The Times of London, issue 55127 dated 7 July 1961, p. 18
  34. ^ "Sir Michael Hordern". The Daily Telegraph. London. 4 May 1995. Archived from the original on 14 November 2012.
  35. ^ Jason Tomes, 'John Emerson Harding Davies' in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2004)
  36. ^ "Prince Emanuel Galitzine". Daily Telegraph. 9 January 2003. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
  37. ^ "Chris Tyler". The Times. 21 December 2016.
  38. ^ James Hamilton-Paterson profile in The Guardian dated 5 June 2004
  39. ^ 'Francis William Harding Davies' in Canadian Who's Who, vol. XLI (University of Toronto Press, 2006)
  40. ^ Duncan Goodhew, Victoria Hislop, Fix Your Life - Now! (2003, ISBN 0091884500), p. 12
  41. ^ Darlington, Sophie (2017). "Sophie Darlington Cinematographer & Filmmaker Curriculum Vitae 2017" (PDF). Natural History Network. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
  42. ^ "Ex-chancellor George Osborne to divorce". 1 July 2019. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  43. ^ "Polly Renton". The Times. 10 June 2010.
  44. ^ Noah Huntley at, accessed 7 February 2014
  45. ^ Haines, Lee (Summer 2017). "Weddings". The Hoot (7).
  46. ^ Merchant, Tamzin. "Tamzin Merchant". Huffington Post.
  47. ^ "Gabriella Wilde (OWL'02) Appearing in Poldark". OWLS. 6 September 2017. Retrieved 9 March 2019.

Further reading[edit]

  • Wilson, G. Herbert (1937). History of Windlesham House School: 1837-1937. London: McCorquodale & Co. OCLC 931128756.

External links[edit]